MT Princess Empress operator’s franchise revocation not yet final
MANILA, Philippines — Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) clarified on Friday that the decision to revoke the shipping company’s Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) operating MT Princess Empress is not yet final and executory.
To recall, MT Princess Empress is the tanker that caused a massive oil spill in Oriental Mindoro and other areas.
According to Marina Legal Service Director Sharon Aledo, RDC Reield Marine Services, Inc. still has 15 days to file an appeal against Marina’s revocation.
“It has not become final and executory, so we wait for a period of 15 days for the issuance of the petition wherein the respondent can file an appeal before it [the revocation decision] becomes final and executory,” she told reporters.
“‘Pag hindi sila nag file ng appeal within the reglementary period of 15 days, then it becomes final and immediately executory, which means the CPC of RDC is already revoked. Magiging final po ‘yung revocation ng CPC,” she added.
(If they do not file an appeal within the reglementary period of 15 days, then it becomes final and immediately executory, which means the CPC of RDC is already revoked. The revocation of the CPC will be final.)
However, Aledo further clarified this does not mean that the shipping company is currently operating, as it is still under a cease and desist order previously issued by Marina.
When asked if RDC can apply for a new CPC once their current one has been revoked, Aledo explained they can but expressed doubt that it will ever be approved as Marina already has a record of the shipping company.
“To be honest, we do not expect that a new CPC will be applied for by RDC or that it will be processed and issued even in the future,” she said.
The revocation of RDC’s CPC was based on the fact that it operated MT Princess Empress despite the lack of authority to run the business.
The vessel sailed at least 17 times before it sank on Feb. 28, 2023.
Based on Marina’s records, the shipping company has three other ships apart from MT Princess Empress — which RDC technically does not own as it is not included in its actual CPC.
Two of them are tankers, while the third is a passenger ship.
Apart from revoking its CPC, a fine has also been imposed on RDC.
“When it [the decision] becomes final, the decision provides for a penalty of P100,000 for operating without the necessary authority to operate,” said Aledo.